February Is American Heart Month

Publication
Article
Pharmacy TimesFebruary 2023
Volume 89
Issue 2

There's no better time to remind pharmacists that they are vital in the fight against CVD.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for many population groups, including individuals who are Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous, as well as White men.1 The statistics are sobering:

  • Approximately 697,000 individuals in the United States died from heart disease in 2020, which accounts for 1 of every 5 deaths.2,3
  • CVD costs the United States approximately $216 billion each year, causing $147 billion in lost productivity at work.4
  • An individual dies every 34 seconds in the United States from CVD.1

February is American Heart Month, and there’s no better time to remind pharmacists that they are vital in the fight against CVD. As trusted health care professionals, they can help advise patients about lifestyle changes, guide them to appropriate treatments, and refer them to physicians when warranted.

In this issue, our Cover Feature looks at how pharmacists can help patients identify risks for premature coronary artery disease (PCAD). Unfortunately, rates of PCAD in patients with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity continue to rise. Meanwhile, the OTC Focus tackles whether nonprescription supplements offer cardiovascular benefits, with the American Heart Association maintaining its stance on preferably obtaining essential nutrients through dietary means.

Elsewhere in the issue, we provide information on the challenge of managing coughs, whether it is too late for patients to get their annual flu shots, and how pharmacists can improve communications with patients during medication therapy management sessions.

And make sure to take a look at the second part of our annual Pharmacy Times® 2022 Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey.

Thanks for reading!

REFERENCES

  1. Heart disease facts. CDC. Updated October 14, 2022. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.
  2. About multiple cause of death, 1999-2020. CDC. Accessed January 27, 2023. https://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd-icd10.html
  3. Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2022 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2022;145(8):e153-e639. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001052
  4. Benjamin EJ, Virani SS, Callaway CW, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2018 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018;137(12):e67-e492. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000558
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